Newcastle In Debt To Swansea
I don’t really know what to make of all this.
I have had a myopic approach to the tail end of this season, wishing endlessly for the final whistle against Arsenal in the hope that it would bring the salvation of Premier League security. Even that hope was quantified, knowing that it gives us a chance to sort ourselves out for a better crack at the top flight next year, but potentially it may just be exposure to another 12 months of pain.
The first instance involved a mass cheer going up in the pub when Wigan’s Emerson Boyce put Gareth Bale’s shot into his own net, earning Spurs a draw at Wigan that gave us potential breathing space before a disgraceful surrender to Liverpool.
Since then we have faced the unpalatable prospect of preferring sunderland to beat Villa (which they emphatically didn’t) before sitting, sweating and palpitating as the fine men of Swansea City won at the DW to prevent our own club sliding into the bottom 3 with only 2 games to play. Whatever happens, do not let hindsight rob you of the memory of how important this result was for Newcastle United. The breathing space created and the pressure it kept on Wigan and relieved us of, meant the subsequent win at QPR was made all the more possible and decisive.
Incidentally, we probably also owe the fixture computer for drawing us penultimately against this basket case of a club and Jose Bosingwa for his clown show that went some way to awarding us the points that day.
The theme above is one of debt, not of achievement from within our own ranks. You could also add to that list the name of Demba Ba, whose goals from the first half of the season contributed the majority of our pre-Christmas points haul, as well as ensuring he finished our top league goalscorer by a clear margin, despite only a 4 month stint.
People might point to the flaw in that statistic that Cisse may well have overtaken his countryman had it not been for disallowed goals. However, I think the percentage of genuinely disallowed versus actual miscarriages has been exaggerated, as well as the most glaring occasions coming in the Europa League. Counterbalance this with the 3 occasions when we won matches with winners deep into injury time and the safety margin just continues to look all the thinner.
Given the above and a consistent barrage of comments that raise concerns as opposed to inject confidence (latest one ‘Liverpool are our blueprint for success’ WTFF??) and I am not at all convinced that the manager has the capabilities to correct things to the levels of the 2011-12 5th place season, or really even to the point of avoiding a relegation scrap.
Rumours persist that certain key squad members are unhappy with him and it’s there for anyone to see that training methods are flawed, given the amount of injuries, the ineptitude at set plays and the apparent lack of any team gameplan.
I question the current regime’s willingness to admit to these flaws and appetite to correct them, and if these doubts are valid, I’m afraid a change is necessary.
There’s a crucial summer upon us. I sincerely hope we are not looking back from a January position of disorganised bedlam and bemoaning the fact that Rafael Benitez was available but once again Newcastle United strode confidently down the calm path toward chaos.
Happy holidays, watch out for mackems at the airport.
Follow Jamie on Twitter @Mr_Dolf
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